VP Pick: Kamala Harris
You’re likely aware that Joe Biden announced his running mate on Tuesday. You’ve also likely heard outcries from many people disappointed with the pick.
But, we will not be covering what you already know about Harris’s stance on criminal justice, her controversial truancy law, and her uncertain stance on health insurance (catch up here if this is new information).
Instead, let’s talk about the women that made it so a Black woman would be picked to run aside Biden. Unsurprisingly, it was the hard work of Black women.
After Biden announced in March that his VP pick would be a woman, Black political strategists and activists alike jumped into action (1). By April, women including Leah Daughtry, and Karen Finney were pushing publicly that the running mate not just be a woman, but a Black woman. In previous years, disappointment resulted from what AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) referred to as politicians “not knowing the people they represent”(2). In other words, White female politicians might demand equal pay for women, but neglect to acknowledge that Latina and Black women experience far worse unequal pay than White women (3). Having a Black and Asian woman as Vice President would be more than just a “first”. It would mean that, finally, there would be a politician in that position of power that actually knows the people they represent and understands the intersectionality of race and gender from personal experience.
So, it’s fine to question Harris and the decisions she has made as a prosecutor in the past. It’s reasonable to disagree with them too, but it’s also a time to celebrate the voices that made this position possible. It’s a time to celebrate that, perhaps, this pick is not just the tokenization of a Black woman.
As the Election Gets Closer…
After stating that he wouldn’t approve a $30 billion bill to support mail-in voting, Trump eventually said he would sign but wouldn’t help make mail-in voting easier (4). And despite the disapproval of universal-mail in ballots that we’ve been covering over the past weeks, Trump himself requested a mail-in ballot (5).
The Future for Children
According to a CDC survey, 22% of essential workers, and 31% of caregivers have seriously considered suicide in the past month (6). Nearly half of people responding to a poll had experienced mental health issues resulting from the pandemic, and the worst mental health outcomes were experienced in young adults and minorities (7). In fact, over a quarter of young adults considered suicide in the past month, and ¾ experienced negative mental health outcomes.
To make matters worse, this is coming at a time when households with children are being hit the hardest by financial troubles, particularly those with single parents (8). On top of this, children are either going to school and getting sick, or staying home (potentially without internet), and missing out on meals, education, and social interactions.
In Burkina Faso, hunger resulting from impacts of the pandemic have resulted in 10,000 deaths of children per month (9).
What do we do? The answer isn’t clear.